Bonobos voluntarily share food and even renounce its own food by a stranger, but only if the receiver offers to change social interaction, according to a study published this Wednesday by Jingzhi Tan and Brian Hare, the Duke University (United States), in the magazine 'Plos One'.
In a series of experiments, the authors found that the behaviour of bonobos was at least partly driven by altruistic motivations, Since the animals helped buy food to strangers, even without the possible social interaction as a result of helping them. But, his generosity had its limits: animals do not share food in their possession if there is no social interaction possible.
Although the study subjects were all bonobos orphaned by the bushmeat trade in the Congo, showed no significant psychological differences from bonobos that had been raised by their mothers. According to the researchers, their results highlight the evolution of the generosity of these apes, the closest relatives of humans, and suggest that the behavior may have evolved to allow for expansion of the various social networks.
“It seems crazy to us, but bonobos prefer to share with strangers”, said Brian Hare, Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University. In his view, They are trying to expand their social network and, apparently, they value it more than maintain the friendships that have already.
To measure this willingness to share, conducted a series of experiments with the sanctuary bonobos Lola already Bonobo, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. “They care about others, but only in a selfish kind of way –said Hare–. They share when it comes to a kind of 'low-cost/low-benefit situation', but when it comes to a situation in which there is no benefit, they do not share, something that is different from a human being, having to worry about giving to others anonymously”.